DAR Pangasinan support services division delivers jam-packed April for ARBs
As hot as this year’s summer season is the passion for public service of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Provincial Office. Agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARBs) enjoyed a month overloaded with activities and support services spearheaded by the Office’s Program Beneficiaries Development Division (PBDD), a sneak peek of an entire year jam-packed with strong agrarian reform program implementation with Secretary Conrado M. Estrella III in the lead.
ARBOs link to market, institutional buyers
After a bountiful harvest of tomatoes this season, ARBs and farmers of the Aliguas Dumaralos na Buenlag, Inc. (ADBI) in Calasiao sold 100 kilograms of tomatoes to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) in Dagupan City. Members of the ARB organization (ARBO) have practiced collective marketing as a strategy to guarantee profit for each farmer, increase negotiating power, and secure bulk orders from institutional buyers like the BJMP.
Before the month ended, the BJMP and the ADBI formally entered into a marketing agreement. Under the instrument, the ADBI is obligated to deliver 250 kilograms of assorted vegetables to the Dagupan City Jail Male Dormitory weekly, which the latter will use to meet the meal requirements of employees and persons with disabilities within its jurisdiction. The contract benefits both parties as the ADBI is secured an institutional buyer that will purchase their weekly harvest, while the BJMP is assured of nutritious vegetables straight from the farms of the ARBO members.
PARPO I Charlotte F. Lasmarias and Regional Director Maria Ana B. Francisco, CESO V witnessed the contract signing with ADBI President Romeo Lopez and City Jail Warden JSUPT Roque Constantino Sison III.
Aside from the Jail Bureau, the ARBO has also delivered agri-products to the Nutridense Food Manufacturing Corporation in Sta. Barbara under a similar arrangement last year.
The ADBI is this year’s project beneficiary for the Program Against Hunger and Poverty (PAHP).
Elsewhere in the third district is the Northern Bayambang Multipurpose Cooperative in Bayambang, which is currently negotiating with Dizon Farms as a potential institutional buyer of white onions. While a majority of the farmers in Bayambang earn a living by planting red onions, members of the cooperative found that planting white onions could be just as lucrative if they sold their produce to direct buyers.
In addition to Dizon Farms, the Jollibee Group Foundation, Inc. has also recently contacted the cooperative for their high-quality onions, the story of which is featured in the Philippine News Agency earlier this year.
The Provincial Office always encourages ARBs to practice collective marketing, which is integrated into the capacity development component of projects like the Farm Business School (FBS) and Linking Smallholder Farmers to Market and Microfinance (LinkSFarMM).
ARBO-managed polvorón enterprise soon to rise in Bani
After the steady progress of the cassava chips enterprise of Calapugan Agrarian Reform Cooperative in Natividad last year, the Department set off to Western Pangasinan to help a new ARBO beneficiary start its own agri-based business.
The Village-Level Farm-focused Enterprise Development (VLFED) project of the DAR and the Department of Trade and Industry is designed to assist existing ARBOs in establishing their businesses through training and improvement of facilities. This year’s identified beneficiary for the VLFED is Rang-Ay Upland Agrarian Reform Cooperative (formerly named Rang-Ay Upland Integrated Farmers’ Association, Inc.) in Bani.
To help kickstart the project, the Provincial Office convened with Bani Mayor Facundo “Boying” Palafox, Jr., who immediately pledged to help put up the ARBO’s cassava polvorón processing center.
DAR, Urbiztondo LGU partner for senior citizens’ livelihood program
Even senior citizens and retired farmworkers are included in the scope of the DAR’s support services. In partnership with the local government of Urbiztondo thru Councilor Atty. Alexis Dela Vega, the Office pampered seasoned citizens in a one-day livelihood training in mushroom technology. Unlike traditional farming, mushroom production is not physically demanding, which makes it an attractive source of income for the age group.
13 ARBOs to benefit from CRFPS, FBS in 2023
On the last working day of April, more than a dozen of ARBOs across the province attended the launching of this year’s Climate-Resilient Farm Productivity Support (CRFPS) and FBS projects. The 13 ARBOs, which are this year’s identified project beneficiaries for the two projects, signified their support and commitment for the successful implementation thereof.
The CRFPS is an annual project that supports ARBOs affected by the effects of climate change. It provides capacity development, farm machinery, equipment, and inputs to qualified ARBO beneficiaries. It has two components, namely the major crop-based farm productivity enhancement and the sustainable livelihood support for disaster-affected areas.
Meanwhile, the FBS aims to shape ARBs into agri-entrepreneurs and turn their farms into profitable enterprises. Previous graduates of the FBS program include Gualsic Agriculture Cooperative in Alcala and Artacho Farmers Association in Bautista. ###